tv The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann RT August 2, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
well i'm telling harmon in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture earlier today republicans in the house voted a staggering forty one time to repeal obamacare the republicans are busy repealing obamacare they're not offering up any plans of their own so what exactly is the republican strategy to fix our broken health care system that more in tonight's big picture rumble and do you know what a bliss point is what about a mouth feel probably not because there's secret terms only the fast food industry uses to get americans cooked and processed unhealthy foods but what other dirty secrets is america's big food industry i'll ask michael lost in tonight's
conversations with great minds. getting to know this we were warned fourteen years ago the deregulating the big banks would crash the economy when congress passed the gramm leach bliley act in one thousand nine hundred nine and opened up commercial banks to the gambling houses of wall street very few in washington questioned the wisdom of what they were doing the senate approved the act by a margin of ninety two eight and the house approved it by three sixty two to fifty seven however one of the few people who did speak out against the regulating the banks was north dakota senator byron dorgan during the final senate debate about graham wage bliley dorgan pleaded with his colleagues to reconsider their yes votes warning that repealing the glass steagall act of nine hundred thirty three the new deal era law that kept wall street and main street banks separate that repealing
that would open up the economy to a dangerous new level. risk take a look. at the fusing together of the idea. banking which requires not just safety and soundness to be successful but the perception of safety of us but to merge it with inherently risky speculative activity is in my judgment unless. there are some nations that represent transcendental. that are cruel over time and one of those in my judgment i fervently believe is that we with this piece of legislation moving towards greater risk senator dorgan also warned his fellow lawmakers the sometime in the near future they would regret their decision. i think. we will in ten years' time look back and say we should not have done that. because we forgot the
lessons of the past it actually didn't take ten years only nine for that prophecy to come true in two thousand and eight wall street's gambling fueled bubble collapsed bringing the rest of the economy with it and today the major wall street banks are even bigger bigger and riskier than they were at the start of the financial crisis until we reimpose glass steagall and separate banking from gambling we will as senator dorgan warned us continue to repeat history over and over again we don't heed his advice the next great crash will come along sooner than we think which is why it's now time to repeal the financial services modernization act of one thousand nine hundred nine and once again make banking. let's rumble. thank. you. joining me for tonight's big picture of all our jessie jane duff retired u.s. marine corps gunnery sergeant and member of the organizing committee of concerned veterans for america ben cohen editor of the daily banter and founder of the banter
media group and patrick howley supporter for the daily caller think you all for joining me this. thank you it's nice to meet you jesse thank you so much for joining us thank you we know these guys are merely for you are has some color to the table is that we do you absolutely do so glass steagall who is with me in trying to get president obama to appoint byron dorgan. as head of the of the. it's absolutely essential in allowing banks to be the same business lending out money and in taking out insurance against those bets which is essentially what they did one of the major reasons behind the crash was that banks were in the business of lending and also taking out insurance on those loans so. as they do they when they would which is essentially incredibly dangerous to allow them to gamble with everybody else and they win tails we lose yes this is just the journey let's all have to agree but i do think it needs on the further exploration
to make sure that it's done so that business doesn't have that hampered at the same time but when we look at the housing crisis absolutely we are buying these loans off that one stable and then essential when the market collapse now we have a housing market that is barely beginning to start recovering so we definitely have to really look at how our past has gone so that we can ensure we have a stable future for them yeah glass steagall kept it solid from thirty three until ninety nine and patrick you're going to i may have been with you in ninety nine when president bill clinton repealed that. the lot of democrats who voted for if we look at the current situation since then we've we're in a position now where we've passed dodd frank which is the most onerous piece of legislation and possibly in the his what's the worst time and what's what's onerous but i mean one thing have you read my book please name one thing that's onerous about dodd frank one thing that's onerous but that for a couple of the agencies that sets up like the consumer financial protection bureau is some of the so that protects consumers from riyadh i mean that's the name of the
agency if you know if somebody makes this is elizabeth warren's example so to. toaster explodes and burns on your house we say to them sorry you can't make toasters like that anymore why shouldn't if a bank blows up and burn down your tone why should we say to the banks tears you can't do that kind of banking anymore. business owners of. the regulations world business hundreds of street smarts the economy to pieces so at the i think maybe if it were goes on as it did not now the government had a big play in this we will not blame the businesses because the government and we had fannie mae and freddie mac. fannie mae and freddie mac. that we're getting congressional oversight we're allowed to do these subprime loans and we were told by the white house at that time to knock it off and yet the congressional leaders went ahead and did not put any oversight over these reg destroying those who are businesses they have been largely brotherhood has been they should have been monitored fairly by congress so you're arguing for greater regulation days that you know you're essentially stating that the business that the
banks crashed the economy when the congress allowed those laws and like the regular whether joe why did you say congress instead of the business says congress allowed the circumstances to be in place but the laws that they have your proposal but that's my oh my foundation is the business is going to do then change your laws but don't sit there and say business because i am a capitalist and i don't believe that we should be anti-business if you want to regulate your money invested i know i don't have enough to invest it is going to grow up but i believe in capital if you let me be honest i have our view of it yes that is closer to the opening for you know should know i am arguing that you are for moderate you know no i've arguing with your statement your statement that businesses crashed the economy when congress had written the laws that allowed it that's what i'm arguing that was stated to do very badly was stating that you do it with another argument but that is the one statement that i would argue. are only two different things are going to give it tomorrow in your worries you are doing your work as they were from the banks going after mortgages and creating ball where
you know all this stuff to go. in after student loans student loan debt isn't just a drag on postgrads it's a drag turns out on the entire economy a new study put out by the think tank demos shows how bad a drag it is according to that study which looked at the long term impacts of debt on individual wealth accumulation an average student debt burden for a dual headed household with bachelor's degrees from four universities that's about fifty three thousand bucks and that leads to a life time wealth loss of nearly two hundred eighty thousand dollars spread that over the entire population it means that one trillion dollars which is the amount of student loan debt we have will lead to a total lifetime wealth loss of four trillion dollars for indebted houses that's four trillion dollars that could be stimulating our economy it could be buying cars it could be buying homes it could be starting. four trillion dollars that's all going to wall street does this make any sense to you jesse well the loans aren't
coming from wall street they're coming from these student loans that are sponsored by the government the government is handing out many of them are now you're actually right. as many of these loans are being issued by the government and what's happened is that they have written off a lot of these loans so taxpayers never get their money back ok and that's ridiculous you cause you to not be able to get all the money right i guess you don't go in and started right are you doing a lot of people that are allowed to work a certain percentage of the years they have proposed that they would be able to screw out a house that is but it hasn't happened this is kind of the demise the great and then that would be a lot of the taxpayer so that's four trillion dollars that would be lost by taxpayers in many cases you know one trusts the bible but if they if they were out of. this corporate world this is the government giving money to banks to lend students. so there's a crime so i can raise that very low interest rates. that some of them are lower than the national lottery and very loud to this is also very low you call them over again this is another joint bubble which is putting on the backs of pool students and this is again getting it's piece of the so i want to do you free education you
want them to do it free yeah i do want. well in california a very high school as well you know i don't know you know if it isn't a pretty serious state of delaware and just just short of eight hundred eight hundred million dollars surplus today there are times matter when you know as it was there well i mean i don't yes absolutely you know the last two republican governors left them billions of dollars a day of jerry brown debt first showed they showed eight hundred million dollars why was that and for. that you know water pays for education because because this can't be who's paying for it there is no such thing as free is coming come from the taxpayers correct you and california have just as medications there's times in the in the nation at what i want their public schools actually were some of the strongest in the nation and now they've deteriorated to a point where they're not even in the top ten harry's radiologists they've been had i want to patrick in here i think it's irresponsible for president obama is going t.v. and encourage young people and encourage american families to pay for a product that cost twenty five thousand dollars
a year and is becoming increasingly irrelevant if not meaningless in the modern world and i think that because degree is useless absolutely absolutely it is and i think that for profit colleges and i think that things like the university of phoenix and other kinds of vocational training programs online are going to push higher education for profit colleges have such a bad track record i mean you're far less likely to get a job if you want to a for profit colleges to go into mills' that's increasingly not the case i think that these old professors who have been around since the sixty's were still in upstate new york at these liberal arts colleges smoking pot becoming going to sounds very good stood there you know training our yard helps a lot they're not going to pull but you know seriously isn't it time to make college free again i mean you know this was not only did this was thomas jefferson he felt it was a bigger accomplishment than being president of syria to put on this tombstone at that point you had made you make a difference affordable you make it you didn't make it and i think that i agree with i believe that the student loans that the government has issued have jacked up the cost of education because there's literally there's not as
a not only i'm not believing that it's true that they have it is true but i actually it's not. if you believe what you want to it's an assertion from the cato institute and what they point out is hidden costs have risen what they and they have panning out for in money exactly but there's a problem with those numbers they point out that in one thousand nine hundred eighty education cost one for roughly one fourth of water costs right now in terms of tuition but in one nine hundred eighty eighty percent of the cost of college was paid for by state local and federal governments or the schools themselves only a twenty percent exact government only twenty percent exactly it was and only twenty percent was paid for by students now eighty percent is paid for by students that's where the tuition increase came from it had nothing to do with the government passing out loans there was to be loans available and i think maybe when you're handing out money then the schools will find a way to spend it it's like any other system where ever money is available i think that you can reform the loan process and ensured that the schools are not mismanaging and there are other ways to go to go about this but i do agree with private education because i went to a private university and i don't think i have
pleasure to have you with us here on t.v. today i'm sure. welcome back with me for tonight's big picture of a large jessie jane duff ben cohen and patrick ali and let's get back to it earlier today the republican controlled house of representatives voted to repeal obamacare for the forty of time want to shock meanwhile caleb how a blogger for erick erickson's red state dot com blog is sick with liver failure and struggling to pay his medical bills however he's found help from an unlikely place progressive bloggers the daily koz has teamed up with red state to. raise
money for caleb's medical bills together they raised over twenty five grand way over their original goal so do you guys think that erick erickson is about to become an obamacare convert i don't think he'll become a convert i think it could be managed a little bit better i think what's happened is that we're seeing a lot of people realizing there was more in this than they were aware of initially i cannot say that universal health care is not a bad is a bad thing under the precepts that they should have tried to do piece by piece what's happened is that businesses have become overwhelmed with what the amount of costs are going to be the hours they can employ people and then we're looking at these exchanges and there are so many so many dynamics going on at the same time that i think a lot of people that's why we postponing them to you know they need to be the new york times we're all looking for businesses that were freaked out about this and they couldn't find them i mean there were a couple of companies high profile companies that a political agenda law center came forward and said that i know it is not and then backed away from her stance so did i think are not going to just backed away from the well what about whole foods they made comments also about obamacare confuses me
is that this is essentially a republican program the obama care is that libertarian or do this is a libertarian it's heritage from his father just sort of came through the heritage foundation and some results he seems to be working in the states where it's going to air in a massachusetts if it were true to go on with romney care well obamacare is not going to pay this guy's bills i think the example that you cited with cable power was a great case of private charity which is a conservative ideal and if i got sick i would trust that ben would come to my help as well. as got some but i mean as we've been reporting on the daily caller obamacare is raising the cost for parents of special needs children it's raising costs for many many people in all kinds of different groups so i don't i don't see maybe you can explain to me in the few exceptions how this rule the way we call it how. that's what we do how this guy. would have been helped by obamacare well if obamacare been a place a year ago he would have had insured of all share of the family's health care costs have gone up twenty six hundred dollars
a year now. annually and that has had and has even gone slowly but it hasn't even gone really has not even been fully implemented yet so what more costs are we looking at i think what people are terrified of is that the costs are getting to a point where a lot of young people are not going to sign up for it because they'd rather pay the fine it'll be cheaper and what of businesses i work in private industry and our health care costs went up last year and we lost to health care coverage as we know had an injury holmes lee is taking over a billion dollars as c.e.o. of united health care that has nothing to do with what i'm talking about where money is going oh no it isn't what we're talking about every business their health care costs have already risen monthly their rates have already gone because health insurance companies are likely to need to use the bag saying we need to reform that then you answer the question we need to reform is the health care industry itself not necessarily implement government health care completely crazy. for single payer if you have a government you were in the military you had a socialist health care so i guess it was wonderful all the prince i have there are dead now that got out of the marine corps probably within four years have died of
various cancers and various inability to get good health care and let's not talk about the v.a. medical backlog that has gone to a point where we got five hundred thousand people waiting over one hundred twenty five days just to get their support from the v.a. they're all going to health care with one hundred government health care thank god i'm helping you get somebody runs i'm going to get some help. us to go to produce the goods you get from you may not you may not a lot of them have to wait and that isn't it so why is it in canada i think i'm down here to get cancer treatment because they don't wait for the government can't run anything more effectively so because they don't know not care more effective outcomes you have for us the most expensive the most inefficient data but obamacare is not the answer what is pro is because it's private. i mean we're going to find out in the next couple of years u.s. postal service according to the associated press the postal service takes pictures of every piece of mail processed in the united states one hundred sixty billion of them here and keeps them on hand for up to a month postal service is the photos are mostly used for sorting purpose. why
enforcement is allowed to access them upon requests your thoughts on this is this horrible horrible thing is this how different is this from prism you know the n.s.a. let's keep our phone records and now we've got the x. keyscore you know let's keep track of everything that anybody ever google it just the woman it's all my options for communication i can't use e-mail anymore i can't talk on the phone anymore and now i can use postal mail in your headers so you're going to do like bin ladin use couriers i'm getting there. but seriously you are concerned about your privacy and all these are many things this is one of them yes your thoughts think it's troubling this is see the evidence that there's a big part of the and it's a. grab. everything they can about it does seem slightly worrying no it doesn't concern me greatly is the maybe maybe this the fact that we're talking about this jesse is a sign that you know the snowden's revelations have caused all of us to be more
sensitized to the possibility of big government snooping well and with what i've read on this so far and i'm not the postal office expert but what i saw is that they're not tracking individual addresses that is not what it's for it's basically like when you're running a check to the bank and they're seeing the scene the mail and then thirty days later and they expel the data essentially help them with the anthrax situation when they're able to track back and law enforcement cases where i would i would assume they would have to have probable cause the problem that we're finding though is our probable cause has deteriorated to zero and that's where i start having a problem so thirty days without snooping and putting through it is one thing but turning around and tracking my mail to him and take him is very disturbing to me so i don't know the element how deep this sort of we have a consensus that we're all getting started starting to feel about it you know why we're coming to you if you have to grow things in your thirty's a certain amount of power to kind of do this kind of stuff but then of course where we're going you're limited by the for the moment i think the line to. drac has
really gone way out the window our fourth amendment rights now it's also not a resident who wrote it now saying wait a minute i did mean well i understand i understand that and it's gotten taken way out of hand and everything that is with or without a good intentions that with poor consequences well there are plenty of republicans there was there was a lot of a lot of fear too and you know bush and cheney reacted in a level with you know and i think i'm sol of america and congress and senate did too and now we've got a whole lot of rain in the back and as we started to see that the systems were using are in place but let's not keep making everybody guilty till proven innocent there was a tea party rally in idaho this week and washington state representative matt shea told a crowd of right wingers a militia movement types of been stocking up on ammunition and weapons to prepare for an economic disaster he said we need to prepare for the inevitable collapse that's going to happen you know it's going to happen that's right i am a politician standing up here saying that when it happens we need to look at those as an opportunity not a crisis whose job is literally that's our job to conservatives on the panel
republicans conservatives tea partiers really view the end of the world as coming in that we all need to arm up for it we just have a minute ago all the homeland security purchased over a billion bullets and that has a lot of conservatives very concerned because why would homeland security be purchasing these bullets that actually explode upon impact and the national park service. but a billion what is there has been a sense of conspiracy going on both ends when janet napolitano said that she can't trust veterans because they could be the potentially next domestic terrorist i think a lot of conservatives were alarmed because veterans have been sworn to defend the constitution so ok so you're concerned that the government has too many bullets no my concern is that you're saying that our conservatives concerned about that we have to have a militia we're concerned that our government does against us oh my think that was completely irresponsible rhetoric on his part i don't know who that guy was but you know he's right in the sense that there is a coming economic. collapse we have
a sixteen trillion dollar debt that is being used as a weapon against the american people for political purposes worse than that we got an eight hundred billion dollar trade deficit well there are a lot of problems but the economy is going to catalyze a catastrophic situation maybe not the end of the world but it is in the near future something that we need to think about. another glass so you do your arm up like shorts and i know this is going to have to take a step. forward most of my life and outside of this country i come in and i look at the stuff obama does and obama to me is a conservative he's pretty right wing he's covered the way richard nixon. richard nixon was if you look at my policy for policy he's about four he's actually a little more liberal the next nixon you know fought for some of those rights and then when you see people it's just reactionary crazy stuff and people who say this about you know about the government securities coming to kill conservatives are all this time we're going to say kill concern i wonder what you were wrong and what i
thought was a vehicle on the record that they purchased a billion bullets and these bullets are part and slow down inside the body and people out there i didn't say anything about conservatives please don't put words in i don't you should know what the military because they're older or the military i think charity is not the military i was a member of the military so many of them are saying i'm not saying i know what it is to fire a weapon and m. sixteen rifle i know that they hope that homeland security has more more ammo then probably the united states marine corps right now maybe they got a deal. you have to wonder made in china probably written all over them well that's that's another this in some way which we would all exist which brings us to outsourcing a comparative study of offshore and domestic workers by h.f.s. research a business ninety consulting company found that domestic workers outperform foreign counterparts by significant margins especially in technical fields according to the study u.s. based workers showed more initiative more innovation more understanding of business than offshore workers so shouldn't we just like start keeping our jobs here and.
maybe change our trade policies to encourage companies to do that like before reagan absolutely i mean the first major leg and we did hear a protection war in one thousand nine hundred two we had three options we had bill clinton who was a globalist we had ross perot but no one knew really what he was and we who is a protectionist on many things and we had a man named patrick j. buchanan running against george bush who was talking about this back in one thousand nine hundred two and people listen to him on the view i only want you to get in there. and ross perot on that issue you take to protect workers you have to do it every country does this except this is what you are based on your lazy to change to mentally since the reagan era so i do agree that many of these jobs are going to come back home because especially in the last thirty years the markets have changed so that the part the salaries are going to be as low as what they were they used to be paying people in for our country how do you. know absolutely that is ghana did not want people to be one of their poor people that's not what i said
their standard of living has increased so that it's actually more competitiveness lower so that everyone has to do not that's a trick because it's not going to be that outsourced jobs and what's happened is that we could no longer find a u.s. citizen to do the particular job and we've had to actually have some of the people to overseas doing it they're actually being paid what they would be paid here they just have a skill set we can't find in the united states i actually have staff for the position so it's one particular position where as others we don't have just agenda of ben cohen patrick ali thank you as you. coming up if you take a trip to your local grocery store you'll probably notice food you normally think of as unhealthy like fruit snacks or sugary cereal slapped with labels and say a good source of vitamin c. or high in whole grains but are these so-called healthier options actually good for you michael moss and today from tonight's conversations with great lines for.
well. science technology innovation all the latest developments from around russia we've got the future are covered. is it possible to navigate the economy with all the details that says dixon and for me and media hype will keep you up to date by decoding the mainstream by stating if in your right cool. cool. wealthy british style the sun.
blog and it's nights conversations in the great minds with michael moss michael is a pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter with the new york times he won in two thousand and ten in the poll a surprise for his investigation of the dangers of contaminated meat and in two thousand and six michael received an overseas press club site. her stories in the faulty justice system for american held detainees in iraq is also the author of the critically acclaimed book salt sugar fat how the food giants hooked us and joins us now from our new york studios michael welcome thanks for having me great to have you with us. first of all what what got you into just a little bit about michael moss what got you into investigative reporting and then what led you to the food industry. you know the investigative reporting just kind of started when sort of in the natural course of reporting just wanted to do longer deeper reporting into questions and issues that you really couldn't
frame as a daily beat reporter and so editors gave you more time to sort of poke into things and. it was twenty almost thirty years ago now i was and you mention that i was in iraq in the middle east i was writing about the spread of jihadi militants see a few part by the war in iraq and i was in algeria of all things when i got into a little trouble with the government there was asked to come home this was two thousand and eight and one of my editors at the new york times christine kay had spotted this outbreak of salmonella in peanut stone in southern georgia which originated remember eight people died thousands were sickened across the country and the more i looked into that taught me that you could be compared to that was it was a situation of the food industry the trillion dollar food industry about which really knew very little losing control over its ingredients they were buying these you
know it's putting them into their products are really not even knowing much about the sourcing or paying much attention and that led me to look at the meat industry stories that you mentioned hamburger especially and that also was the story of the industry sort of losing control looking at. meet cole law it was clear from the documents i was able to get that the media just was not taking some really obvious steps that it could have taken to increase consumers' safety i was in the middle of that reporting when one of my best sources related to the meat industry actually said to me one night michael look you know as tragic as these incidents of food contamination are there's another public health crisis of foot that you should pay attention to because it's caused not by things that are accidentally getting into food but it's caused by the things that we the processed food industry are intentionally putting in the food with absolute control over and he was talking
about salt that led me to look at sugar and fat which together are the holy trinity of the processed food industry which brings us to nine hundred ninety nine you report on an extraordinary meeting that happened in one thousand nine hundred. twenty. three or was it just a and acknowledgment of tell us about it i think that is when you can start the clock ticking on what did they know and when that they know it sort of a question for the process food industry again i was really fortunate to come across a trove of insider documents that put me at the table of the largest food giants as they were planning and formulating and plotting their way to creating new products and one of the amazing things that fell out of that trove of inside documents was this nine hundred ninety nine meetings the c.e.o.
of the some the largest food companies in north america got together for a very rare and private meeting to discuss none other than the emerging obesity crisis they were called together to figure out what to do about it and standing up for them in this auditorium of the old pillsbury headquarters building and monopoly . minnesota who was none other than one of their own a senior executive of crap armed with a hundred fourteen slides and he lays at their feet responsibility for the obesity crisis for diabetes for high blood pressure he even links processed foods with several types of cancers and he pleads with of them to turn the corner and start doing something collectively on behalf of consumers to make their formulations healthier and collectively is that is the important word here because the food industry is so incredibly fiercely competitive that if any one individual
company tries to do the right thing on their own then the others are waiting there to swoop in to grab what they call share of stomach space in the grocery store shelf is amazing moment now and how is he received when he basically said to his peers this stuff and on i am also curious he said a couple of kinds of cancers to get were those ever a numerated define which cancers they were but and how is he received when he said that he was received as you might sort of expect which was the c.e.o.'s reacted relieved defense of boy it is sort of argued look we already offer people a choice if they want low sugar this or low fat that they're there on the shelves they just have to look for those versions of our mainline products we're also adding a whole grains we are being responsible both to consumers and to our share will
holders to whom we're also beholden and they went back basically to business as usual that was their basic response the cancers were several i can't recall right now exactly which ones i have to say that in linking processed food to specific cancers that executive from crap actually went a little bit further than i do i mean that's one of the problems with with food. food and nutrition is that much of the science is rather pushy food companies the government doesn't do and they're very difficult to do the kind of randomised control placebo driven trials that the drug industry does so much of our knowledge about what causes obesity and diabetes etc as for issues relating to food is is is coming from the law and common sense and relational studies as opposed to really hard core words but he wasn't phatic the gentleman from kraut that look we are at least partly responsible and it's obvious just through the nature of the products
even gave an example the federal government used to have the food pyramid and now it's the plate to encourage healthy eating right where the good stuff is on the bottom in the stuff you should minimize at the top well this executive who have said to the people that look if you look at the foods that we market most heavily to people through advertising and placement in the grocery store we flip that food pyramid on its head so that we're encouraging people to buy the least healthy foods and not and were ignoring the most healthy ones with some amazing was he struggling with his conscience one wonders of our diet is i think liability lawyers i think a little bit of both i think that he truly believed in himself that this was the this is the moment this was the time to do the right thing look he flashed on the screen one of the slides i'll never forget it was a map of the united states over over many years and it showed the growth of obesity
in bright red colors over time through the united states and sort of a staggering document i truly believe but i also think that he felt this is a moment when the food industry was reaching a tipping point in terms of consumer trust in these companies and i think he felt this was not only the right thing to do ethically by these companies. it was the right thing to do financially for them if they wanted to stay ahead of the corps curve and a hold on to the public trust what do you mean you mentioned something earlier that referenced the tobacco companies what what were the what was the lesson that the fast food industry learned from the tobacco industry. i was really surprised to look at the documents relating to the tobacco industry for a couple of reasons philip morris the largest tobacco company the world became the largest food manufacturer in north america in the eighty's through its acquisition
of general foods and kraft and for the eighty's in the ninety's you can see in these records these memos and planning meetings and strategy minutes from from from corporate products sessions that you know the tobacco companies did what you expect them to do include your old and push their food company executives to sell as much product as they could in some cases they lent them some of the marketing tools that had been effective in selling cigarettes but starting in the late ninety's just about the time of this meeting in one thousand nine hundred ninety philip morris got religion on government regulation it was holding consumers became gravely concerned about them losing the public trust in this case over to back it became the first tobacco company to embrace the notion of government regulation of tobacco and when they did that the philip morris executives privately turned to their food division manager and since said as a warning you guys are going to face as great if not greater trouble over
salt sugar fat obesity as we are now over nicotine and you've got to do something to lessen your dependence over that holy trinity over gradients or which you are so dependent for convenience for taste. profit but they didn't go in that direction in fact they did the opposite of their. most of the companies but one of my favorite chapters in the book i have to say is about kraft because when the executive from kraft you know fails to enlist the entire industry in a collective action he does manage to talk his bosses up the crowd to take a unilateral action in two thousand and three kraft launched this entitled b c b initiative which was amazing in several respects it looked at its marketing to kids and decided it was being too aggressive marketing sugary products to kids and it
cut back it looked at its product labeling and decided it was being less than the honest with consumers especially with its snack foods that had two or three servings in a package of words own data showed that many of us would eat the whole container of the whole bag and even and so that and so the labeling where it gives you the number of calories and fat and salt perceiving they felt totally understated the situation misled people to thinking they were getting less so they started putting on each package a dual call for both the per serving amount of nutritional load and then the whole bag really extraordinary they do this on their own without government saying do this but the third thing was really remarkable they turned to their food scientists to chemists who designed the formulas of the food and said that all shell no longer use as much salt sugar fat as you simply want to to make this food irresistible they could caps which was really amazing thing in it and it made you know it pushed kraft to the position of of really facing the question how are we gone too far in
making these foods irresistible so that even maybe subconsciously we're encouraging people to overconsume and contributing to obesity is really amazing point the problem was that they were reacting they were acting rather unilaterally the. a big problem in the kirk and other companies came in with the richer cookies and kraft again was faced with the old question of wall street the issue of wall street breathing down its neck and they had a budget a little bit on their top so so it comes back to that ninety nine meeting and the need for sort of the industry to react to act collectively or it's not going to happen so kraft amazing while want to pick up that try to only come right back more conversations with great minds with michael moss right after this break.
their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on r.t. question more. emissions free cretaceous free in-store chargers free arrangement three. three stooges free. download free broadcast quality videos for your media projects a free media and on to our teeth dot com. welcome back to tonight's conversations and great minds with michael moss michael is a pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter with the new york times and author
of the critically acclaimed book salt sugar fat how the food giants hooked us to get back to it michael i i just just discovered you're also in addition to investigating salt sugar fat and meat contaminated meats you broke the pink slime story. i came across that sort of process meat product called pink slime and in the course of doing the reporting on contaminated hamburger i had documents of for the first time allowed me to sort of trace the creation of a burger and in this case this burger had been you know people and paralyzed a young dancer named stephanie smith who. filed in the piece as well but of the several components and i should say too that it was so eye opening to me because i always thought that hamburger was made for a mole hunk of the cow ground up into the nice burger when in fact it's an amalgam of scraps of meat from slaughterhouses that are purchased from for the purchase
from slaughter as is around the world and mixed and matched based on their fat content but also with the industry costs of the least cost formulation the processing companies making hamburgers are under huge pressure to keep their costs down and so they look at these scraps and they mix them into one of the peak one of the elements of the hamburger that i was writing about was this material called pink slime which was so fascinating this was material from the cow that used to be used for anything but people food coming from you know coming from parts of the cow that were most exposed to coal and in order to control any possible pathogen contamination the company making the product treated it with an ammonia gas and this ammonia gas changed the color of the material observers from the u.s. to you they were the first to coin the term describing it as pink slime that later
took off after my reporting on a more sort of powell little ball level people started questioning whether we should be eating that material but also more importantly whether it should be labeled as something other than beef because when you look at the label of hamburger and includes that material you can't tell that it's in there it's labeled simply as b. and that really became the issue i think for consumers is wanting to know fully what's going into their food remarkable web and stepping back to salt sugar fat your new book and salt sugar and fat first of all you said that this. is the the the unholy trinity or words to that effect this is this is the the core of these why why do salt sugar and fat addict us. you know all three of them are miracle ingredients and i have to say that looking at the records in the book is peopled with internal records and in interviews with insiders you know as
they're struggling with their conscience and their growing regret about what they've done for some of these largest food companies and one of the and one of the things that we really sort of been wrestling with is this notion again is have we gone too far to encourage over consumption to make our products sort of utterly alluring but one of the one of the great things for the company is from their perspective of these products is that they allow the creation of process food that's convenient that is that last on the shelf for a long time that's really inexpensive and that's utterly tasty one of my favorites to talk about is salt salt is a miracle ingredients for the for the processed food industry it acts as a preservative it it's low cost a ten cents a pound so they can avoid adding more costly ingredients like fresh herbs and spices and it also masks some of the off notes the bad flavors that are inherent to
some process foods i went to battle creek michigan where kellogg has its or do you facility and they invited me into impress upon me why it was so difficult for them to cut back on the salt in their products and they made for me several of their biggest icons without any salt in them at all so we could taste them and i have to say tom it was one of those god awful experiences i ever had you know we started with with the cheese it's which normally i could eat did in day out and without the salt we could even swallow them they stuck to the roof of my. we went onto the frozen waffles the looked and he stood like straw the real clincher was the were the corn flakes without salt they tasted well before i could even say it the spokeswoman for the company took a big bite of out of the spoon and milk and she gets this look of horror under her
face and she swallows when she blurts out metal i tease metal and the chief scientist is sitting there and he kind of knowingly smiles gently and said yasmin again one of the beauties of salt is that it masks the taste of metal which you otherwise cornflakes. and you know and when i sitting there i have to say that that was one of the one of the great aha moments for me in researching and writing this book because i realize that as dependent we have because on processed foods for the sugar for the thought for the salt the taste that irresistible taste that can create cravings the industry itself is even more dependent on salt sugar fat as inexpensive ingredients that keep the whole industry going reading your book of the warmed over food you put it of sol need is one of
the meat is one of the greatest challenges for the processed food industry because when you read heat it the fat oxidizes and gives off what industry people called warmed over flavor they describe it as the taste of wet dog here or w.o.f. as they call it again salt is one and it's miracle function will cover up the taste of. you know in the book that this is a trillion dollar industry and that it's costing us three hundred billion dollars a third of a trillion dollars a year. health care as a consequence of this industry. how can an industry exist that that for every dollar's worth of product you buy it causes you thirty cents worth of injury . how does how does this. i just well for i was really shocked by that number
and i hear you tom and if you even first answer is that people are just coming to grips with that three hundred billion dollars figure as the cost of obesity in north america from from added medical expenses and lost productivity and i also am hearing for more sort of health policy out of the kids who are looking at that number as an argument that they can use and some people have been sort of talking to you know when they're looking at adding taxes on the least healthy foods their story you know argue that this is sort of less like a tax on tobacco than it is say a gasoline tax position is that this is an inherent cost to the environment in the case of gasoline or to our health in the case of foods of using these ingredients that somebody needs to pay for and i have to say the last time that i heard numbers and you were near to that was in the ninety's when the states sued big tobacco to recover the health costs associated with tobacco so there's and you saw that whole
thing show up so this is a classic example of an industry internalise in the profits and externalizing the costs of those extra knowledge. it's a bit it's a really good point but there's a big difference with tobacco because look inherently food is there is stand simply to make you healthy and there's nothing wrong with salt sugar and fat in modest amounts look at sort of defines my diet certainly you know potato chips so could be started to talk about potential but it's the amounts that we're talking about and it's this phenomenon of us becoming more dependent on these you know which. well it's played right into the hands of the food industry and sort of bats that you know that's the crux of it so before a jury it's going to look like something entirely different than tobacco you know there's a. there's a there's a whole health food industry that is marketing fast foods now are not fast foods with processed foods you can buy you know tamale dinners and indian dinners and
never you know every kind you want. at significantly higher prices in the in the high end you know health food stores the whole the whole foods of the world what are those as finally calibrated using fat salt and sugar overloading them to make their tastes appealing as are those are the cheaper foods that you find in the supermarket or are they actually healthier you know i think it's product by products. you know we've had this battle in my house where my wife eve wants to give our two boys yogurt to get them calcium up and some of the brands of yogurt even if they're low fat can have as much sugar in them as an ice cream or kind of going around and around and out so you have to i mean look i'm hoping that this book is both sort of a you know a warning call to the to the food industry itself
a wake up call if you will but i'm also hoping it's empowering because once you know everything they do to you the moment or the trying to do to you the moment you walk into the grocery store and once you know everything that goes into their products i think it's really empowering and you know and clearly reading the labels look when the f.d.a. started requiring companies to put on their label how many calories how much saturated fat which is the fact that links that's linked to heart disease how much sodium which is linked to high blood pressure is in these products you can if you take the time to make the effort make watch wise choices and there are good products to be purchased in the grocery store so. you know my colleague michael pollan has written this book called cooked was that which is just fabulous making the argument that look you know one of the ways we can gain control over a process who is rather than let them control us is just sort of chip away a little bit at our at our budgeted time and do a little bit of cooking in united spend some time in the grocery store and at some
time cooking and there really is remarkable what you can do with just a little bit of effort and again that's what i'm in our own life you know we're not hoping to a limited our use of process foods but we're hoping and trying very hard to gain control over them so your suggestion that people need to start cooking their own meals again as opposed to i've been playing with pizza i've got like going to rule stick to me about pizza because i really come to believe that got hijacked by the fast food industry it's really not very hard to make healthy pizza or years so that the kids and you will really really like you know you mix a little duo together in the evening three minutes of meeting while you're listening to your show pop in the fridge or it or take it out in the morning to rise six o'clock here at work you call your kid you go hey you know turn on the oven really hot i'm going to be home in an hour we're going to make this pizza you know you roll it out and then you have control over what you're putting on it how
much cheese how much sauce you don't have to even use prepared sauce to both of the kids or you pop it in the oven especially if you have a pizza stone will come out really crispy you know that's one of the foods and that's one of the miss of convenience foods which is that they are the ones to give us convenience and be in foods we can do it ourselves with just a little bit of effort a little bit of mindfulness remarkable michael moss thanks so much for joining us tonight thanks for having me to see this and other conversations the great minds go to our website at conversations of great minds dot com. and that's the way it is tonight friday august second. twenty thirteen and don't forget democracy begins with you get out there get active tag your it seem on the.
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